Transcriptional activation in human cell-free systems containing RNA polymerase II and general initiation factors requires the action of one or more additional coactivators. Here, we report the isolation of cDNAs encoding two novel human transcriptional coactivators (p52 and p75) that are derived from alternatively spliced products of a single gene and share a region of 325 residues, but show distinct coactivator properties. p52 and p75 both show strong interactions with the VP16 activation domain and several components of the general transcriptional machinery. p52, like the previously described PC4, is a potent broad-specificity coactivator, whereas p75 is less active for most activation domains. These results suggest that p52 is a general transcriptional coactivator that mediates functional interactions between upstream sequence-specific activators and the general transcription apparatus, possibly through a novel mechanism.